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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Nathan Garvin
Editor(s): Nathan Garvin
First Published: 25-03-2015 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-02-2019 / 20:30 GMT
Version: 1.0 (????) 23-02-2019 / 09:35 GMT

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Guide Guide info Forum category for this guide

Questing Nurn

The Power of the Wraith

The Power of the Wraith

Queen Marwen will give us our next step towards the objective of creating our own Uruk army (left). Our target is a Captain called Grublik the Flogger (right).

"Queen Marwen holds the key to unlocking the true power of the Ring-maker. The power of command and domination. Forge an Army to challenge the Black Captains."

Talion will catch Marwen in the midst of some magic, which he interrupts. After a flash of light, Talion apparently decides to let the matter slide, and questions Marwen’s motivations. The answer is, as usual, cryptic, but positive. She’ll reveal our next goal-instead of commanding every Uruk in Mordor, we should focus on the Captains-if we command one, through them we can command all their troops. A Warchief would be better, but if we can’t claim one that already exists, we’ll just kill the Warchiefs, and put our own Captains in their place.

Punish Grublik until he's sufficiently weakened (left) then brand him (right).

First things first, we need to Brand a Captain before we can raise him through the ranks. An Uruk slaver named Grublik makes a likely target, so head west to the marked area along the eastern edge of Thang Talanth and use your Wraith Vision to spot him out. Grublik isn’t a very impressive Uruk specimen-he’s immune to ranged and stealth attacks, and regenerates health quickly, but otherwise, he’s got no particular strengths. We’ll just have to take care of him in melee. Before wading into combat, though, it would be a good idea to kill the lesser Uruks around him, as we’ll need to weaken Grublik until we can grab him (R1), dominate him (X), and issue a Command (Triangle). Cue the tutorial on Commanding Uruks.

Essentially this adds another layer of complexity to the Nemesis system, and in particular the Bodyguard dynamic and Power Struggles. It was mentioned earlier that you could support one Captain or another during a Power Struggle, but before now there wasn’t much point. Now, however, you can Command Uruks Captains you’ve Branded to engage other Uruk Captains in Power Struggles. A little harmful interference on your part can make sure the right Uruk-yours-wins, which gains them power, position as a Warchief’s Bodyguard, or promotion to Warchief. Like lesser Uruks, Branded Captains can be turned against other Uruks. Since a Warchief always wanders around with his retinue of Bodyguards, you can rig fights against Warchiefs by Branding his Bodyguards.

Help Grublik defeat his challengers (left) so he can earn a promotion to a position as a Warchief's Bodyguard (right).

For now, however, direct Grublik to try an infiltrate the ranks of Tarz the Knife, one of the Warchiefs. A "Recruitment" Power Struggle will appear on the map. Head towards it and start the Power Struggle. Grublik is going to have to recruit a posse of lesser Uruks to become worthy of being a Bodyguard, and you’re going to have to help him. You can do this by killing troublesome Uruks (as a Warrior, Grublik will be hard-pressed to defeat Defenders and Berserkers), which can be done without even getting involved in melee-just shoot a few choice Uruks and let Grublik and his minions clean up. Staying off the ground and assisting Grublik at a distance will satisfy a bonus objective. Help Grublik eliminate three groups of Uruks (the targets you need to kill are marked, and glow yellow in Wraith Vision) and you’ll have taken an important first step in creating your own Warchief.

Help Grublik overthrow his Warchief (left) so that your branded servant can take his place (right).

You’ll now find yourself in Cab-Gwanath Bluff, with the objective of making it to a vantage point in the Stronghold to the north without setting off the alarm… which shouldn’t be too hard if you stick to high ground and avoid picking any fights. Kill whatever Uruks are in your way with Stealth Kills and arrows and climb to the beacon tower that looms over this area. Once there, Tarz will show up, with his bodyguards-including Grublik-in tow. Drop down to engage Tarz and activate Grublik, who will probably get in your way more than he’ll help. Kill Tarz, and watch Grublik-your Warchief-give a speech to his Uruks. Your Uruks.

Talion and Celembrimbor will be ambushed when they return to Marwen (left) but Lithariel will intervene in a timely manner (right).

Talion will return to Marwen, who will attack when you enter, and propose a deal with Celebrimbor. Lithariel will arrive and salvage the situation. Apparently Marwen was possessed by Saruman, which seems to be a hobby of his. Although freed from Saruman’s influence, she bears grim tidings, and reinforces our need to get an army of our own.

Reward Bonus Objective
110 Power, 1400 XP 150 Mirian
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Lure out Warchiefs (left) and brand them (right). Your goal is to make all five Warchiefs in Nurn yours.

The quest "The Cure" is now waiting for us in the northern part of Fort Morn, which we’ll get to, shortly. First, however, we should go over the new over-arching objective we have in Nurn-to brand all the Warchiefs. The easiest way to do this, arguably, is by completing the Showdown Missions for the Warchiefs, defeating the Warchiefs and Bodyguards, and Branding the Warchiefs in combat, which of course requires us to whittle the Warchief down, and will be much easier if you kill their Bodyguards, first. The Warchiefs and their Showdown Missions are random, as are their Bodyguards, so be sure to check the Showdowns section of the guide if you need some direction.

There are also a number of Trophies/Achievements we can earn now. Brand five Captains, Command them to attach themselves to a Warchief (and complete their Power Struggles), then confront the Warchief (completing his Showdown Mission). When he comes out with his five Bodyguards, activate them to earn the Trophy/Achievement "Stinking Rebels".

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The easiest of the new Trophies/Achievements we can get is "A New Master". Simply pick a fight with a Captain and, when their health is low use Stealth Brand (X + Circle) on them. Or, if they’re weak against stealth you can use a Stealth Brand on them. Just make sure there are other, hostile Ururks around and you should get this Trophy/Achievement.

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If you want the "The Spirit of Mordor" Trophy/Achievement, summon a Branded Warchief (via a "Beck and Call" mission that appears for your Branded Warchiefs) and Command him to start a "Riot" Power Struggle by attacking another Warchief. You’ll gain the Trophy/Achievement before even having to bother with the Power Struggle.

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Since we’re dealing with high-level Uruks, we might as well discuss one of the more difficult Trophies/Achievements in the game; "A Mighty Doom", which unlocks when you obtain a level 25 Rune. Of course, we know that the Uruk’s Power Rating determines the base level of the Rune he drops, up to a maximum of 20, so how do we get those other five levels? Well, the level of the Rune is modified by various things. If the Uruk we kill is a Warchief, they’ll drop a rune two levels higher than normal. Obviously, to get a level 25 Rune we’ll need to target a Warchief. Other factors include sending a Death Threat (+1 Rune level), knowing the Uruk’s Strengths and Weaknesses (grab some Intel on the target for another +1 bonus to Rune level), if we exploit a Fear or Hatred during the fight (+1 Rune level), and if the Uruk killed us before (+1 Rune level).

There’s one rub, however-if you send a Death Threat to a Warchief, they will almost always drop an Epic Rune, which is a good thing, normally, but for this… not so much. Epic Runes don’t have levels, and won’t get us the Trophy/Achievement we’re looking for. If, however, you’re willing to grind out Runes, kill dozens of Captains, and score all the Epic Runes, they’ll start dropping normal runes. Time consuming, but it’s an option. Otherwise, find an Uruk with an easily-exploited Fear (Fear of Burning is the easiest one to exploit). Get killed by them, and they should gain in power. They will need to have a Power Rating of 20, which you can manage by getting killed by them repeatedly, or by helping them succeed at Power Struggles. Once they have a Power Rating of 20, get them promoted to Warchief, if they’re not already a Warchief (getting killed while a Warchief spot is vacant should do this).

You should now have gained Intel on the Uruk (needed to find out what their Strengths/Weakness are), gotten killed by them at least once, and raised them to the status of a Power Level 20 Warchief. Complete their Showdown Mission, and while in combat with them exploit their Fear of Burning by shooting them with a Fire Arrow (if they’re not immune to ranged attacks) or by luring them near an explosiving object and detonating it. Once done, kill them and, if you don’t get an Epic Rune, you should score a level 25 Rune.

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Finally, perhaps the most involved Trophy/Achievement is "Rise and Fall". Make sure there’s at least one dead Captain in the ranks, then go get killed by a lesser Uruk. This will likely cause said Uruk to be promoted to Captain. Pay the Captain who killed you a visit, smack him around, and Brand him. Then Command him to attach himself to a Warchief, complete a Power Struggle so he becomes a Bodyguard, then help him kill his Warchief. Once your Uruk becomes a Warchief, summon him via a "Beck and Call" mission, and kill him.

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Go after these Trophies/Achievement… or not. But you’re going to need to Brand all five Warchiefs, so you might as well give it a shot…


Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Genre
    Action-adventure
  • Guide Release
    25 March 2015
  • Last Updated
    12 February 2019
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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